Of course, the fact that Angry Birds on Android is free helped goose that amazing number, but after SELLING seven million copies of Angry Birds for the iPhone, the developer went in a whole different direction with their Android release. This is the very definition of business change.
I don’t know whether the amount of revenue that Rovio has reaped from selling Angry Birds at $1 per copy was significant to that company, but certainly it would be difficult to maintain a long-term strategy for growth if a run-away hit like Angry Birds was only good for $10 million or so in total revenue. So now . . . let’s hope advertising works.
Here’s why I believe this business change will pan out for Rovio:
Angry Birds is played with your smartphone held sideways, so you look at it in wide-screen, or landscape view. Playing a level takes maybe 20 seconds, and whether you succeed and move on or fail and start over again, each time you start a level you see a new advertisement on the bottom of the screen. Spend thirty minutes playing Angry Birds and you’ll see 90 advertisements.
You’re free to ignore the ads and just keep playing Angry Birds, but Rovio has done such a good job of laying them in the right place on screen that I promise: even if you’re an expert at focusing on the stuff you want to see and filtering out the stuff you don’t, you’re going to notice the occasional ad, and that means you’re going to click on one from time to time.
We can start with the math: ten million copies of Angry Birds Each generating 90 advertising impressions per day means that over the course of a month Angry Birds would show 2.7 billion ads. Cut the 10 million in half and then assume that only .01 of 1% of the ads get clicked on, and you have 135,000 ads clicked. Assume each click pays Rovio $.10 (which is low). Rovio see $13,500 of revenue per month. For as long as Angry Birds is in use.
And those weren’t even friendly numbers. Not even slightly.
Further, because this is the Android version of Angry Birds, Rovio is free to distribute the game any way they want to and make whatever advertising deals make sense to them. In the iTunes store, and on iPhones, it’s extremely difficult to work with anyone but Apple.
See how keeping your eye on business change works? A little company makes a little game, becomes successful, and then completely changes its revenue model.
Nice job, Rovio. Oh: and Angry Birds is fun, too.